Augsburg News

News Archives - 1999

Non-trivial research experiences are incorporated into the Augsburg biology curriculum

September 1999

A student studying plants as part of her research.One of the great strengths of Augsburg's biology program is the extent to which we incorporate non-trivial research experiences into the curriculum.

All biology majors conduct long-term research projects of their own design in Bio 114 and Bio 215 (the second and third courses in the three-course general biology sequence). These projects typically span about 2/3- 3/4 of the semester and culminate in poster presentations and presentations to the class.

Students taking Bio 481 (Ecology) or Bio 340 (Marine Biology of the Florida Keys) conduct even more extensive and sophisticated projects spanning the entire semester, and typically culminating in oral/PowerPoint presentations open to a college-wide audience. To varying degrees, several other upper division courses also incorporate original research into the lab experience.

Many of these student research projects are wonderfully conceived and executed, particularly considering the time constraints, and it is really great to see how individual students' research skills and sophistication with the scientific process are developed and refined by these repeated research experiences.

Many of our biology majors also have summer research internships, most commonly at the University of Minnesota or other institutions, but sometimes also at Augsburg.
Examples of student research:
* PowerPoint presentations from Bio 481 (Ecology), Fall 1999
* Comparative growth patterns for annual and perennial ryegrass
* Soil composition and inter-species competition
* The effects of competition and increasing salt concentrations on four-species plant communities (Chenopodium album, Kochia scoparia, Trifolium repens, Poa pratensis)